Monday, August 21, 2006

Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story by S.D. Nelson

Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Joe Rosenthal died this past weekend. His photograph of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima during WWII became one of the most famous photographs ever taken.

The Pulitzer Committee in 1945 described the photo as "depicting one of the war's great moments," a "frozen flash of history."

Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story
(2006) by S.D.Nelson, tells the story of one of the six Marines who raised the flag that day. Hayes was from Arizona and a Pima Indian. Sent to the government run Phoenix Indian School as a teen, Hayes was a shy and lonely young man. He joined the Marines following Pearl Harbor and was sent into the Pacific war theater. Nelson recreates the historic flag-raising and subsequent media frenzy when the three surviving Marines returned home. Felix de Weldon's statue of Rosenthal's photograph became the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Va. Hayes faced great difficulty adjusting to life following the war and died within ten years of the flag-raising. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.

This is a book that will be of great interest to those kids with an interest in the military and WWII. The illustrations make the book accessible to kids of all reading levels. An author's note at the end includes photographs of Hayes, the island of Iwo Jima as well as Rosenthal's famous photograph. A bibliography is also included which is an excellent way to demonstrate how authors cite their sources.

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